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Digital News Roundup: May 7, 2010

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This week, we learned of Facebook’s plans to launch a location-based service with partner McDonald’s, Congress introduced a web privacy bill, Google unveiled a new look and the Microsoft-Yahoo alliance announced that it will soon begin its advertiser transition. Read our complete recap below — and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to find out about new job opportunities with our team.

Report: Facebook to Get in on the McLocation Game with Fast Food Giant

AdAge reports that Facebook is partnering with McDonald’s for the launch of its much-anticipated location service. The new location functionality will not be only for brands – soon, users will be able to post their location within a status update.

Image via
Image via

McDonald’s is reportedly building an app that will allow customers to check in to a restaurants and receive information about a featured product for that location. The image above shows a location-based app already live within the McDonald’s Page, though this feature is not yet ready for primetime. According to Inside Facebook, at present the app simply tells users to be on the lookout for updates, as McDonald’s is expanding its “local Facebook reach.”

Congress Introduces Web Privacy Bill

On Tuesday Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) released a draft bill outlining privacy standards for the online advertising industry. Mediaweek’s Mike Shields writes that the legislation would require publishers and ad networks to disclose then they collect data on Internet users – but wouldn’t require users to “actively opt-in.”

The bill balances the congressmen’s desire to protect consumer interest – without harming business and commerce – by placing the onus on consumers to protect themselves in the case of online data. As the draft bill states: “companies may collect information about individuals unless an individual affirmatively opts out of that collection.”

Will Margiloff, co-CEO of 360i parent company Innovation Interactive, said the proposed legislation is “very much in line with some of the self regulation principles being prepared by the industry.”

Google Unveils New Three-Column Search UI

Google debuted a new three-column look to its search user interface (UI) this week. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan covered the news in an extensive post on Wednesday – and we’ve recapped some of his key points below.

Image via Search Engine Land
Image via Search Engine Land

  • The new design includes a permanent menu of search options and tools to guide users in refining their search queries. Sullivan argues that it should now be easier for searchers to “drill-down further” into their queries.
  • Paid ads run on the right column, with some appearing in yellow above search results in the center column. The options in the left column aren’t entirely new, but to get to them before searchers had to proactively open the options feature. This is now the default view.
  • The options column has three sections – “content types” (i.e. Images, Videos, Shopping, News, Blogs, Updates, etc.), “search tools” (time & location filters, content type constraints, results view, etc.) and “Something Different” (suggests queries related to your original search).
  • Notes Sullivan, Google doesn’t want to have the same options showing up all the time – and the new design aims to provide only the most relevant results for each query.


Yahoo and Microsoft Advertiser Transition Heats Up with Summer Launch on the Horizon

In a Thursday blog post, Yahoo provided more detail on how its impending partnership with Microsoft will play out in the coming months. Search Engine Land notes that the biggest news from the announcement is that the transition from Yahoo’s ad platform to Microsoft’s ad Center will begin this summer, ahead of the 2010 holiday season. Yahoo writes that if a “quality transition” cannot occur before the holiday period, it will postpone implementation until the early part of 2011.

Advertisers can find information and tools about the transition in their Yahoo Search Marketing accounts and in the Yahoo Transition Center. For more information on the search alliance, check out our complete POV on the subject.